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The Best Pastry and Coffee Pairings

Coffee is a delicious beverage, full of nuance, depth of flavor, and caffeine that many covet in early mornings. Lattes, americanos, drip coffee, and shaken espressos all come with their own unique flavor profile that can be highlighted by the right pastry choice. Whether it’s breakfast at the start of the day or a snack to keep it going, many people choose to have a pastry alongside their daily coffee. When looking to make your next choice of pastry, which one will create the flavor combination you are looking for?

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From the French ladyfinger to the Dutch stroopwafel, cookies are a tried and true pastry that have long been known to pair well with the flavors of coffee. Typically made with fat and rich sugars, the sweetness and richness of a cookie can balance the bitterness of coffee while also accentuating the sweeter notes of the roast. The texture of many cookies is typically well-suited to dipping or eating alongside coffee as well, with an airy crumb that easily soaks coffee into its flavors. There are dozens of cookie styles to eat with coffee, and all of them are just as worth trying as the others.


Originally created by the Viennese as a gift to the French, croissants have found themselves as one of the most classic pastries to pair with coffee. Croissants are made through an arduous process of laminating layers of butter between enriched dough, creating an airy, chewy pastry that rises high in the oven. Though croissants are incredibly buttery and rich, the acidity of coffee cuts through the heavy flavors, creating a taste sensation that is unmatched by any other pastry. Croissants are decently popular and thus easy to find in most cafes — They also come in a large variety of flavors, with chocolate and almond croissants being incredibly popular around the world. Flavored croissants are particularly good for dipping into lattes, as the warm milk and coffee soak into the enriched dough and melt the filling, creating a pudding-like texture and sweet flavor that surpasses many other pastry combinations.

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Many coffees already feature chocolate as a significant note in their flavor profiles, and brownies stand up well to that flavor. Typically incredibly fudgy, rich, and chocolatey, the acidity and brightness of coffee give way to fruity, cherry-like notes that are naturally found in coffee. Much like cookies, the sweetness of brownies also helps to bring out sweeter sugar notes from a brew, resulting in a well-developed and nuanced flavor profile that is incredibly bold and punchy. When nuts are added, an entirely new dimension of flavor is introduced to the mix, highlighting the subtle sweetness and toasty flavors of nuts in the coffee. Brownies are certainly delicious, eaten plain alongside a cup of black coffee, but they are particularly good when paired with vanilla ice cream and espresso served affogato, poured over the top of the ice cream. This dessert truly highlights the best parts of all of the ingredients while also giving a slight zip to end the night with energy.

Coffee Cake

This pastry may be a given since “coffee” is in the name, but it is good enough to bear mentioning!  Coffee cakes, naturally, are designed to be served alongside coffee and thus result in a light, robust, and delightfully cinnamony pastry. The sweetness cuts back some of the bitterness of the coffee, while the cinnamon highlights spicier notes in the coffee. The coffee cake also has a relatively airy crumb to it, making it ideal for dipping into coffee as an interactive treat. Coffee cake may be a less flashy choice than a brownie or croissant, but it is a classic pastry that will always pair well alongside hot lattes and cold brews alike.

Fruit Pies

Pies are a classic breakfast option at any American diner, best enjoyed with a bottomless coffee carafe. Fruit pies, in particular, are a fantastic pairing with coffee — The flaky and butter crust balances the acidic and bitter bite of a black coffee, while the acidic fruit fillings shine against the fruity, cherry-like notes found in coffee. From cherry to strawberry, and even apple, fruit pies are always a fantastic option that carries a rich diner culture behind them.

Find the Pastry for your Day

Regardless of how you choose to enjoy your coffee, the pastry you have with it is equally as important. Savory and salty pastries can set you up for success in the workspace, while sweet treats are an excellent way to start your day on a high note. Consider the flavors you are looking to enjoy in your coffee and which pastry options available to you would pair well with those — There’s a deep world of breakfast pastries to explore and endless coffee to drink alongside them.





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